Resistotyping is based on differences in the resistance of strains of a given species to a selection of chemicals used at critical concentrations. The method was applied to and the patterns of response were used for epidemiological enquiry. Amongst the chemicals used were metals, and these markers showed the plasmid-associated instability already known from genetic studies. Generally the resistotypes obtained and the phage-typing patterns gave parallel information. There were examples of staphylococcal outbreaks, however, in which resistotyping amplified or clarified the findings indicated by phage-typing patterns. Conversely, in other instances phage-typing patterns subdivided a common resistotype. This investigation confirms the validity of resistotyping as a method of epidemiological tracing applicable to widely differing bacterial species.


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